Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

1 Chronicles 16:11

I could share many stories with you today.  In my past there is so much I am not proud of and a number of unfortunate things that happened to me.  I could share my story of redemption, which is great indeed.  There is both sadness and joy beyond what words can express in my past. That is not my focus here.  I want to share the truth of 1 Chronicles 16:11, “Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always,” and apply it to my current struggles.  I know that in the times I must fully look to the Lord’s strength is when I am going to find victory over darkness.  I want to seek his face always, especially when I feel incapable.

As a mother of three young children, soon to be four, my life is filled with both joy and frustration.  Raising children and caring for a home is not for the faint of heart.  It is hard work.  Here is the problem: I long to be a strong, godly mother, yet I feel so often like I fall flat on my face.  Perhaps you feel that way too?  I find myself constantly pulled between the want to have an easier life and the knowledge that easier is not really what I should be searching for.  Do not get me wrong, there are certain measures I must take to ensure I have the focus and energy to be the best mother, wife, and person I can be, but if I am honest with myself, I am often looking for a magic cure to “fix” all the problems I face.  I am raising and living with human beings.  There is no quick fix to the big problems we face.  In fact, it is only loving, consistent discipline that has brought me where I am today.  Why would I expect different for my children and my family?  This is why I am moving forward.

I am no longer going to live in the muck of everyday.  I am going to lovingly do my job.  I am going to care for my home and family.  I am going to do it to the best of my ability.  I am not going to let the actions of others, especially my children, determine my attitude.  I am going to remember that correction is necessary, but so is grace, forgiveness and love.  I am not going to let the actions of others determine my worth.  Comparisons are a trap that always leads to disappointment.  Instead, I am going to rely on what God intends for ME to be.  Not my neighbor, sister, friend, or anyone else.  I am also going to extend them the same grace.  I am not going to busy myself judging the lives of others from afar.  When needed, I will be there to support them, not blame them.  I am going to stop worrying that I am not the best cook, housekeeper, crafty mom, or anything else I see from others in a similar position.  God put me here because I am uniquely equipped to do this job.

I do not think I am a bad mother.  I do not sit around beating myself up over every decision I have made.  I have mostly learned that lesson.  When life gets difficult,  I will often wonder what I am doing wrong.  I should be using my God-given strength to get through the day, week, month, or even longer.  He is there.  He has proven this to me over and again.  An easy life does not mean you are doing everything right.  More likely you have grown complacent with the status quo. No more does a hard life mean you are doing anything wrong.  Life is hard sometimes.  I cannot give all the reasons why, but I do know I have gained extraordinary strength and knowledge through those times.  Through it all, I am learning to find peace in the midst of it all.  What a gift!

Perhaps you are in the midst of a struggle that leaves you wondering what happened or how you got there.  I speak to you not as one who has mastered the art of gracefully dealing with trial, but one who is seeking God’s strength to better do this.  I want to live 1 Chronicles 16:11.  I will “look to the LORD and his strength”.  I will “seek his face always.”  God is there.  Even though it may not feel like he is, our feelings are deceiving.  God’s truth never deceives.  He has promised He is there.  Let’s turn to seek His face again.  Will you join me?